Monday 19 February 2018

'Tip-off' on patient treatment triggers hospital investigation

Ralph Riegel

A HEALTH watchdog is investigating a hospital following a confidential 'tip-off' about the treatment of a patient.

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) initiated contact with the HSE about Mallow General Hospital (MGH) after receiving "confidential information" in relation to various procedures.

But HIQA has refused to specify precisely what will be examined in their investigation.

"Confidential information was received about treatment of a patient in MGH," a spokesperson said.

"The information indicated that the type of care provided to patients undergoing certain treatments in the hospital was not in line with the national recommendations made in the Ennis report, which highlighted the risks arising from low numbers of patients being treated for certain conditions and the clinical staffing cover possible in such hospitals.

"This raised concerns on the part of the authority about the range of treatment provided at the hospital.

"As a result of receiving this information, which was not a formal complaint, the authority sought assurances from the HSE about how patient care was provided in Mallow General Hospital."

HIQA said the information it then received from the HSE did not satisfy the authority that risks to patient care "were being adequately addressed".

The HSE publicly welcomed the acknowledgment that HIQA was not in receipt of complaints about MGH.

The Irish Independent understands that staff and medical care officials at MGH were deeply upset at the speculation surrounding the probe.

Senator Paul Bradford (FG) queried why a probe was under way at all when no formal complaint was lodged.

"This news will come as no surprise to the thousands of patients who experience the excellent service in MGH on an annual basis," he said.

"The question must now be asked as to why this inquiry is actually taking place? It again will cause concern that the agenda behind the inquiry is one of downgrading the hospital."

Irish Independent

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